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[sticky post] Notes to Self about Writing Life

1. Just be yourself. Don't schmooze, don't obssess, don't get weird, don't get all theater. It's served you well, being yourself all this time. Stick with it.

2. Just write. Keep at it steadily, keep at it carefully. Do it conscientiously, do it to the best of your ability.

3. See number one again, especially when you feel insecure about number 2.

4. Believe you have a story to tell. Then don't put it off. Tell it.

5. Accept that some people will like your work, some people will not like your work, and that's okay. You write because you have a story to tell. It's nice if someone will read your story, but if they don't, well, not everyone in the world or even the Western hemisphere is going to read your story. And that is okay.

6. Writing can change the world, but is not the most important job anyone will ever have on the planet. You are not telling deep truths about the universe. You are telling a story. Get over yourself.

7. See number one and number three again, just in case you need a reality check. Never believe your own press.

8. Keep doing something you enjoy that keeps you in touch with people and makes you feel that you are making a contribution to the world, because you can turn into a mushroom if you're writing only. A strange, weird, psychologically fungal mushroom, I might add. And then you might drink.

9. Do not pass judgment on the writing of others. Do not compare your writing to the writing of others. You can have opinions about things you read, but unless you are asked, you might want to keep them to yourself, especially where other writers are concerned. Play nice.

10. Expect others to play nice with you. Avoid pseudo intellectuals and non constructive critics. Hell, you don't need them. You have your worst critic, yourself, to contend with already.

11. The industry is not the measure of your success. Attention is not the measure of your success. Of course you want to send your work out, make smart marketing decisions, and try to share. The measure of your success is stories written and sent. You can't convince the world it wants your work, but you certainly can't do anything at all unless you're telling stories.

12. Realize that success in writing, like success in anything, is really more about persistance than anything else. Write, learn to market selectively and well, and then market selectively and well. There will be a learning curve. You will battle obscurity. You will make mistakes and get rejections. BUT eventually you'll have enough circulating and people will know who you are, and you'll learn the tricks, and your writing will line up with someone's taste, and more and more things will be accepted.

13. See 1, 3, and 7 again, especially in moments of personal angst.

14. See 2 and 4 again, especially in moments of procrastination.

15. See 4, 5, 9, and 11 again, especially in moments where you lack faith.

16. See 5, 9, and 10 to remind yourself of grace.

17. See 6, 7 and 10 to remind yourself that you're not curing cancer.

18. See 8 to maintain your balance.

19. See 12 when you feel like giving it up.

20. If you're not satisified anymore, if it's causing you consternation, cease. Walk away. Writing is important. A happy life is much more important than that. Anything must give you joy for you to continue it. Don't settle.


Well, a review at Amazon from Darth Breather about Mosaics 2: An Anthology of Independent Women says something that means a lot to me about Cookies:

This feminist anthology is unusual in that it's a mix of stories, poems and essays. The fiction is every genre from literary to speculative to magical realism. The tone also changes from piece to piece - some are hopeful and positive, others contain dark matter. This anthology is for dipping into rather than reading through at one go. I found them all worthwhile - whether they're fun or force reflection. The darkest, perhaps, was Cookies by Catherine Schaff-Stump, a fictionalized but reality-based account of adult offspring of a terribly abusive childhood. (This story is particularly appropriate give the charity this anthology benefits. Kudos to the author for having the guts to put it out there, and to the Editors for getting it for this anthology.) The Mermaid Tale, on the other hand, is a triumphant tale of a woman sea-heroine, who lives the life she wants and wins her love, and The Lion and the Dragonslayer is another adventure story with a happy ending. I appreciated the essay on blindness, which really made me - as a sighted person - understand there are nuances I'd never even considered.

This anthology benefits the Pixel Project to End Violence Against Women.

Nope, it wasn't easy to write or rewrite. I appreciate your comments.

Mirrored from Writer Tamago.

I've written a post over at Unreliable Narrators: What Kind of Publishing is Right for Me? Querying Agents and Editors.

I think my next post here will be a comparison/contrast of Deadpool versus Captain America: Civil War, because now I've seen them both. Yup. Little late on the whole Deadpool thing.

Mirrored from Writer Tamago.


Over at Unreliable Narrators, we did The Horror Podcast.

Mirrored from Writer Tamago.


Let me get the Unreliable Narrators update done first: Patreon 101 with Taryn Arnold. And along with that: our Unreliable Narrators Patreon Page!

As exciting as having our Unreliable Narrators Patreon Page up and running is, well, it's been an amazing week for me. If you're a friend on Facebook or Twitter, you already know, but this should hit all of you in all those other places. Here it comes...

Wait for it....

I am now represented by Mary C. Moore of Kimberley Cameron and Associates.

How this came to be is a pretty dramatic story, and it's not quite over yet, so I can't tell you the whole story. But I can tell you that I am super lucky to be represented by Mary. She's a writer, she loves reading, she's passionate about what she does, and she's one smart agent. I am truly looking forward to working with her.


While I'm waiting to tell you the rest of the story, I can tell you that I am polishing off a recalcitrant short story called The Devil's Wingman. And soon I'll be on vacation (June 9th) writing and traveling and writing and traveling. And...doing some more writing and traveling.

So, who's going to be at Wiscon this year? 4th Street? Convergence? World Con? Look for me. Let's hang out.

Mirrored from Writer Tamago.

The Medical Risk: A Failed Experiment

About a week ago, I had an idea. I thought I would see what happened if I went off my proton pump inhibitor.

For those of you not in the know, a proton pump inhibitor, also known as a PPI is what people with heartburn take to reduce the amount of acid in their stomach. A lot of people actually prescribe them to themselves, as in they buy prilosec or nexium available over the counter.

Recent studies have linked proton pump inhibitors to a variety of medical issues, such as kidney problems or heart failure. That was...concerning, as I've been on PPIs since I started having acid reflux in 2002. Mind you, there are no conclusive causality links. That hasn't stopped the press from treating it like it is, or kept those commercials where you can sue a physician in the style of mesothelioma from appearing. But it might be something about the kind of person who takes PPIs, their habits or diet or something that causes these issues.

Still, in the great tradition of American hysteria, thanks for the hype, all. I even had a conversation with a concerned friend. Before that, I called my doctor, and we had a talk about medicine, illness and risk.

Have you thought about your medications? You know Americans pop NSAIDs like they're candy, but they can cause serious effects too. For a while Motrin was getting all the love, but everyone wants to sell Advil. And yes, that pain I can tolerate when my knee gets bad. I take Advil as little as possible, exceedingly intermittently over a prescription arthritis med.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from Writer Tamago.

I've begun my series of publishing options over at Unreliable Narrators with What Kind of Publishing is Right for Me? Preliminaries.

I intend to keep content here and there separate, but there might be some folks who visit here who want to read that.

Don't forget that Mosaics 2 is out today, and you really want to buy it to support the Pixel Project!

Mirrored from Writer Tamago.

Pick of the Week Blowout!

With the Hugo nominations being lackluster this year, our Hugo show turned into a Pick of the Week Blowout! Go and have a listen.

Mirrored from Writer Tamago.

Sound the Retreat

An interview about our recent writing retreat in Shohola at George's place.

Mirrored from Writer Tamago.

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May 2016


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